Denizens of the invisible empire

Darth Termite 
Darth Termite

Termites hold the dubious honor of being the most important insects economically in Hawaii - and I mean that in a very negative way! Termites feed mainly on wood, happily munching their way through houses and other wooden structures. They will also chew through many other materials in order to get to a tasty morsel of wood, including insulation around underground electrical lines, causing power outages. Symbiotic protozoans in the termite's gut help to digest the cellulose in wood, and the termite can then digest the by-products.

There are two main types of termites in Hawaii; Drywood Termites and Formosan Subterranean Termites. Winged drywood termites swarm on windless, humid evenings, land and lose their wings, then run around to find a mate. They then find a nice nesting site and begin to breed. These types of colonies grow slowly, but steadily, chomping away at furniture, cardboard boxes, wooden house parts. Subterranean termites nest in moist soil and make earthen tunnels over obstacles to reach wood. They breed much more quickly than do drywood termites, and can form enormous colonies. They are particularly a problem because they can grow and spread undetected while they completely damage a house's foundation. They are responsible for causing more than $100 million damage each year in Hawaii.

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Copyright © 1996-2000 Tina (Weatherby) Carvalho...MicroAngela
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